Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Garden fresh!

Look what I found in my garden... Red potatoes!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

San Antonio!

If you had read my last blog post, you'll remember that I had planned to "explain myself" about King Tut. The picture above is of the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, where my family had visited 2 years ago. My son and I were in the Luxor visiting the King Tut museum. Although it wasn't the "actual" Tut exhibit, it was a very very good reproduction. We paid our money and marveled at the details and "small" furniture of the boy king.

Well, today was the day we were SUPPOSED to have visited King Tut in Dallas. The "real" exhibit is about to wrap up in a few weeks and this was my chance (lifelong dream) to see the Tut artifacts up close. As I was online about to purchase my tickets, I had noticed the bad reviews (for the most part)... Information that the museum was a rip-off, the advertising was misleading (no golden coffin/sarcophagus) the "Disney" feel to the atmosphere and how they get everyone pumped up, and just when they think they are going to see actual Tut stuff, they are dumped into the gift shop and the tour is over....

Hmmm... I went ahead and clicked on the date and time I wanted to arrive, pay the close to $30 pop for tickets per person, the $7 for audio per person, the $3.50 for convenience charge -- PER PERSON, and then another $3-$4 for another type of "convenience charge" and on top of that, the knowledge that parking was going to cost between $15-$20 ... I realized before I entered my credit card info -- WHAT? AM I CRAZY? Ka-ching! Ka-ching!

Sooo, to make a long story short, I broke the news to my son (whom I had invited) that HEY, let's go to SAN ANTONIO instead!

Yeah, I missed probably a golden opportunity, but I didn't feel like being fleeced.

I"m still checking airline prices for our trip to the middle east. Maybe we'll catch Tut in his hometown...
So here's our substitute day in San Antonio. We only spent a 3rd of what we would have spent in Dallas and we only used a quarter of a tank of gas! Our first stop was the train at the San Antonio zoo... It was actually quite fun and took us around the park and part of town (not inside the zoo like I had originally thought!)
Inside the zoo...
The hippos were underwater and would break for air every 6 min.

Nice to see a Bald Eagle up close...
A nice lady offered to take our picture without me asking...
At the Riverwalk...

We decided to eat at the Republic of Texas cafe, and noticed the birds were dining as well on the table...
They were so hungry, they were oblivious to me being up close. I even managed to pet some...
Lunch menu wasn't bad!!$$$$
Food was good, and so was the atmosphere...
Anyone want on my gift list? ;-)

At the Alamo...
We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day. The weather was a modest 80-something degrees, a slight breeze, and occasional cloud to ease the heat.

Indoors, we had to take off our hats, no cameras, and with solemn respect, we examined the inside of the Alamo. What an awesome piece of Texas history! It was interesting to see Davey Crockett's personal guns and some of his signed books.

I spotted a lady with streaked blue hair like Josh. I bugged Josh to get into step behind her (without her knowing) so I could take his picture. I teased that people would think they were together, since their hair matched. Josh was bashful to catch up with her and accused me of being the Paparazzi!

I wish we had time to stop indoors for a refreshment, but home was beckoning!

We had a great time. San Antonio is always a lot of fun... I spied the Japanese Tea Garden while going to the zoo and hope to return soon... While passing the garden, Pamela and I did a double take! The guy looked just like Nate! We wondered if perhaps Nate was playing hooky from work? Nah!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Field Trip: Gault Archaeological

We took a field trip today to the Gaunt site, where excavations are ongoing. This area has a long history of pay-for-digging, where the former land owners would allow people to pay up to $20 a spot to dig all day-- and keeping what they find. Fortunately, these "miners" didn't dig too deep and the real TREASURES were found under their mess, along with a ton of empty beer cans. Not to mention many valuable artifacts found in their piles of discarded rubble. Drinking and digging in hot Texas can only endure for so long.

Fortunately for archeology, the property changed hands and the new owners recognized the scientific importance of the site. For the last 10 years, a major excavation has been undertaken under the supervision of archaeologist, Clark -- who happened to be our tour guide today. He was awesome.

What a wealth of information!
For anyone living in the area and interested, this site has garnered national attention for some of its finds. Not only is this excavation unearthing Clovis artifacts, but also human, animal, and some unusual stones.

Volunteers are welcome and trained. Clark gave me his business card and I'm keeping this in mind.

We had a long discussion about his career choice and I mentioned that I used to dream (as a young girl) of going to Harvard and being an archaeologist. He chuckled and said Harvard archaeologists who visited their site were some of the worst.

I had to stop and think for a moment. WHY did I want to go to Harvard? Then I remembered that Howard Carter had attended Harvard. He was the archaeologist who had discovered King Tutankhamun's tomb.

Speaking of King Tut...

Well, that's another story.

I'll explain it in the next blog post...

Black walnut in abundance... Oh how I missed these trees in Missouri! And Hickory nuts!

Everything gets carried to the screens, washed and water blasted.
I don't know what's worse... falling on a cactus, or this menacing thorned flower...
The screening area.

One of the excavation sites.
This old shack used to be part of a train...
Archaeologists visiting from England. Notice anything different about them? Upon arriving in Texas, they all bought cowboy hats!

The domed tents cover excavation sites...

Who can resist stopping at an old mom and pop's grocery store for an ice cold soda pop?

This is what it's all about!